states. geographically, these territories comprised what we think of today as the great plains and the rocky mountains and the rest of the rocky mountains to california. it didn't include california, because california, as you know, was already a state. they were so critical because it had to do with the future of slavery in the future of southern power in the nation. now, some have demanded is what they saw as their constitutional rights as american citizens to take their property, including weight property, in the territory by the entire nation. in 1857, the infamous scott decision, the united states supreme court affirmed this southern constitutional deal. republicans, in contrast, they said never.